San Bernardino Photography Now:
I’m Grateful Thorns Have Roses

San Bernardino Photography Now: I’m Grateful Thorns Have Roses is a simultaneous double-venue exhibition at the Garcia Center of the Arts in San Bernardino and the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California in Riverside.

The exhibition is a major survey of the remarkable recent photography being produced by artists emerging from San Bernardino. The work addresses a wide array of social issues and is particularly anchored in the city’s Westside.

This group of 22 mostly BIPOC, primarily self-taught photographers capture local pride, strength, and determination while directly addressing the challenges faced by communities of color. This exhibition elevates local photographers whose home and focus is San Bernardino. The result is an unblinking, tough-minded look at the daily struggles faced in a once-bankrupt city now redefining itself. They bring us the city’s changing demographics, myriad challenges, and shifting circumstances, but their empathetic, understanding self-imaging contrasts with the often bleak outside view of the city.

After decades of their voices being overshadowed and their stories rewritten
by others, a diverse, young cohort of photographers have launched an ongoing project of self-representation. They use cameras to capture and dissect day-to-day life and address the larger issues facing San Bernardino. They write: “San Bernardino is
a city desperately holding on to what’s left of its socioeconomic fabric while facing urban crisis in neighborhoods historically redlined by train and freeway development. The scars of segregation remain as we fight to breathe choking air amid a proliferation of logistics warehouses.”

Along with this environmental injustice, San Bernardino communities of color face further challenges concerning affordable housing and sustainable jobs. The group aims to elevate these topics with the hope of effecting local, regional, and national change. This exhibition is photography with a purpose. It’s a powerful example of one of photography’s deepest traditions—the idea (the belief, the hope) that images can change the world.


Tours and Exhibition hours begin June 6

Exhibition hours: Wednesday – Friday 12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Group tours available. Call (951) 682-5307

This exhibition is made possible with talent & vision from:


Vanessa Aguilar

Jonathan Arthurs

Freddy Calderon

Marcus Dawson

Desde Nada

Lewis deSoto

Fernanda Durazo

Humberto Flores

Gilbert Gonzalez

Malik Laing

Romulo Landin

Thomas McGovern

Esther Miller

Jose Morales

Rod Muñoz

Lizette Olivas

Sonny Pacheco

Toni Sanchez

Richard Solis

Andrew K. Thompson

Fabian Leon Torres

Anthony Victoria

Amy Zapata

This exhibition is also made possible with support from:


Freddy Calderon

Andrew K. Thompson

Douglas McCulloh